For a long time, I’ve known that I was sort of busy.
I have a lot of things to do and always seem to be rushing from one place to the next in order to get everything done. Busy as I was though, I didn’t feel much busier than anyone else; I just figured I had poor time management skills, (which, in all honesty, is actually pretty true.) Recently however, it hit me that I am actually Super Busy.
I discovered this after speaking to a close friend of mine. We used to hang out once a week, sometimes more often, but we haven’t seen each other in a while. I was trying to think of when it was that we last got together and he said it was “at least November.” Keep in mind that it is almost February, and you can imagine the pangs of guilt that were coursing through my body. “It’s okay,” he said, “you’ve just been too busy. Let me know when you have some time though, I miss you. We have a lot to catch up on.” Cut to me flipping through my day planned trying desperately to find time to fit him into my schedule while working around his. It hasn’t happened yet.
The next instance of Busy Girl Syndrome came when chatting with my best friend. She had to drive her parents to Pearson Airport, and wanted some company on the ride home. My schedule was open at that time, so I agreed. We were just chatting away, enjoying each other’s company when it hit us. Our time to relax and hangout, was occurring on the 400 Series Highways. Not at some chic cafe, not getting our nails done, but driving 120 kmph in a rainstorm. You know you’re busy when….
Weird as it is though, sometimes I don’t feel like I do very much at all in a day. I usually am at work for 9:30am, since I don’t have to be in at 9 and the traffic is just so much better and there is no stupid train to wait behind if I wait the extra 30 minutes. Then I work until I have no more things to do, which can range from 1-6pm, and even later if I have a live show I am working at. Then sometimes I will go to my other job, which starts anywhere between 5 and 6:30pm and goes usually until 11pm or 12am. When I am able to, I try to fit in time to go to the gym which all told, (getting to/from, working out, post workout showering etc.) can take about 2 hours. Then there are the weeks that I play hockey, which is about a 2 hour commitment as well, (though it isn’t as common right now as it used to be.)
On top of that are the other things I like to do for leisure and down time. Things like reading the newspaper, magazines, or digital sources that I like and watching my TV shows, (which I am unbelievably behind on.) While it may for most people, seem like a luxury to be able to relax and read or watch mindless TV, for me it is almost as necessary as sleeping. As an introverted person, alone time is very important. It allows me to recharge and actually enjoy the interactions I have with people, rather than treat each one as a personal attack on my own being. Me-time is essential. Then there is the whole writing thing. I would like to be doing more of it, and for a greater variety of sources than just my blog, but that in itself is a huge commitment of time. You need to read up on their articles and their style, their content, and even their comments from readers. You need to become very familiar with their brand in order to position yourself as a good fit. And that is all before you even get to write for them.
And lastly, but definitely not the least, is the personal commitments to people. I take care of my Nana, who at 93 sometimes acts like a stubborn 4 year old (and walks with about the same level of motor acuity and stability.) Then there is time with other family members, most notably with my Mom for “girl time” and “help me clean out the basement because I can’t find something really insignificant but that for some unknown reason I need to have RIGHT NOW” time. Then of course there is time with Boyfriend, which truth be told, never feels like enough. Maybe that is the sappy girly me talking, but I always think that I could shuffle things around more to make more time for him. Or at least do something when I do get to see him, rather than almost always wanting to just stay in and watch TV, movies, or play video games. Then, when he is busy and I’m not working and have spare time, I fit in friends here and there.
Writing all that out made me seem like I do a lot, but even still when I look at an average day, I feel pretty unaccomplished by the time I go to bed. I always think that I could have fit more into my day, or at least done something more measurable or quantifiable. So … I guess that is why I have become a Busy Girl. I try to do too much in too little time, and with not enough time management skills to make it happen.
I am working on making better use of my time though. One step is to stop wasting so much time in the car by taking better routes and making sure I have everything I need for the day with me, instead of thinking, “meh, I think I have it. If not I’ll just drive back and get it.” I’ve also set timers for how long basic things like doing my hair and makeup in the morning should take. The buzzer goes off and that’s it – either I finish before then or I walk out the door looking the way I do. (The exception being if I have one eye done with makeup, I will give myself one minute of bonus time to balance my face out.) I also try to limit the amount of time I spend on Facebook or Twitter or even Instagram, and put that time to better and more productive use.
Got any other tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments.